James Tarter

First post: Nov 5, 2020 Latest post: Dec 16, 2020
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it solely for the ease of keeping family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. 

On Sunday afternoon, Jim and Ben were at Jim’s uncle’s farm moving their deer stands in preparation for hunting season. Jim was unstrapping a stand from the tree when it collapsed. He fell approximately 12 feet and landed on his head. Ben acted calmly & quickly and within an hour Jim was in a helicopter & flown to St. Louis University Hospital. SLU Hospital is a Level 1 Trauma Center with a Critical Care Head and Neck ICU. Jim was able to move his extremities, but the CT scans immediately revealed a cervical fracture. For those in the medical world; occipital condyle fractures bilaterally, cervical one (C1) lateral mass fractures, and lamina of C4 fracture. At that time, Jim’s short-term memory was nonexistent. He also had a concussion. He was moved to the head and neck ICU.

That brings us to Monday and finally getting his MRIs. Unfortunately, a new set of issues was discovered, which confirmed what the doctors suspected. The most serious finding was a left vertebral artery dissection and that segment of the artery is occluded; in non-medical terms, the artery is damaged and now blocked. They also discovered more back fractures (T2 & T3). The artery dissection and C1 fracture, in that order, are the most serious findings. Due to instability from torn cervical ligaments, the fractures, and the neck being malaligned with the skull base, Jim will be having a craniocervical fusion.

As bad as things are, we know Jim is extremely lucky that things are not worse. Even in Jim’s impairment, he too realizes he is lucky to be alive. Jim’s ICU room number—333! 333 is an angel number. It is a reminder that the Divine and angels are with you as you go through life’s obstacles guiding you & protecting you. Without making this too long, all we need is prayers for strength and healing. Anyone that knows Jim, knows that he is a strong, stubborn man & he will fight his hardest to overcome this! Thanks for all your love and support.